About Shani

I wasn't always a painter.

In fact, for most of my life I hated painting. I was "horrible" at it. Producing painstaking, fine tip linear detail drove my desire to create and my dream since the age of 10 was to become an architect. I would often stay up all night rendering floor plans and elevations on the floor of my bedroom. I built Lego houses to bring those elevations to life. In 5th grade my nickname was "The Master of Detail" because of the incredibly detailed scenes of villages I recreated from our history textbook.

When I was 15 years old, I was diagnosed with Chronic Uveitis, an aggressive inflammatory disease that affected my eyesight.

For the first few years, the vision decline was slow. I didn't notice any vision issues until 2004 when my college architecture studies became nearly impossible. I couldn't use my instruments, see my white paper on my white drawing board...and I couldn't read my textbooks.

In 2013, I experienced my first bout of legal blindness and lost my passion for creating art. Without being able to create fine detail, I was resigned to do anything at all. I felt like a piece of my soul - my identity - was gone.

I went years without making art, until one day I burst all my frustration onto a canvas and found that bright color and texture resuscitated my deep NEED to create. The work was imperfect, but it was my story ("And I'll Explode" can be seen here).

Since 2013 I have navigated creating through many flare ups and multiple procedures and surgeries such as cataract removal, iridotomies, injections, lasers...

I put aside my fixation for detail and perfection and instead focused on using texture and color to tell my story. Often that story is dark, but something about it is always serene and hopeful. It's loss and triumph.

It was the darkest and loneliest period of my life, but when you look at my eyes, you can see rings of scars that remain.
I think it's super unique.

I've since regained a significant amount of eyesight and am now better equipped and supported to handle the Uveitis flares. I've continued to develop and evolve my technique so I can consistently create regardless of what's happening with my eyesight.

I wish only to create vibrant pieces that are uplifting to my soul. I find in the process how much the things that lift me are also lifting others.  One of my most favorite things to do is take a finished piece and set it to (ahem, royalty free) music on my YouTube Channel
I also know my way around music production tools and when I can't find the perfect track, I make it.  Music is a HUGE part of my creative process.
I spend my days in Charlotte NC and Surf City NC with my hubby Eric, sweet pitties Lila and Kilo and fearless cat Flashes.  We all love beach days, car adventures and lifting heavy things in our garage gym.